• Wayne Fox

Do you need permission to rest?

Do you need permission to rest?

There is an obvious answer to this question.

Life can be a burden and tiresome without rest. With our tired, weary, and burdened lives, hearing the word rest can seem like a cool breeze on a hot summer day. Each of us has longed for a place of stillness that allows us to receive; physically, spiritually, and emotionally rest. One of the greatest barriers to this occurring is granting ourselves the permission to enter into a process of resting our physical bodies and our spiritual soul. Sometimes we may ask the question: can I really allow myself this time of rest to look internally?

In many cases we find it challenging to even admit that we need to take a break and find rest. It may actually feel that we are admitting weakness, when we are not able to just push through our fatigue and the pain that we may be experiencing. In our culture we even celebrate busyness, because we were believing that perpetual motion is an indication of superiority. If we admit that we are having obstacles and difficulties, we may even feel that we are a failure. When we feel like a failure this can bring us to the realization that we actually need rest for our souls.

In my engineering physics and thermodynamics classes we studied some about a perpetual motion machine. In my thermodynamics class it didn't take us long to realize that a perpetual motion machine would violate the First and Second laws of thermodynamics.

The First law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another. A perpetual motion machine would have to produce work without energy input.

The Second law of thermodynamics states that that an isolated system will move toward a state of disorder. The more energy is transformed, the more energy is wasted. A perpetual motion machine would have to have energy that was never wasted and never move toward a disordered state. As mankind began to create machines, they began to attempt to make a perpetual motion machine, that worked on their own and that worked forever. These perpetual motion machines never have and never will work as their inventors hoped. Perpetual motion is impossible because of what we know about the geometry of the universe.

What’s the purpose of reviewing physics and thermodynamics? What I have stated about our culture and about our attitude. We act like the human body and the human soul is a perpetual motion machine. It is not a perpetual motion machine; God designed it to need rest both physically and spiritually.

Psalm 55:4–8 (ESV) 4 My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. 6 And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; 7 yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; 8 I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.”

1 Timothy 2:2 (ESV) 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

To be at rest spiritually is to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. This rest is promised to all who put their trust in God and obey him. The human desire is for spiritual rest. Spiritual rest is to be found in God alone. Matthew 11:28–30 (ESV) 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

God promises his people spiritual rest. John 14:1–2 (ESV) 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

Even Jesus permitted himself to have physical rest as he stated in: Mark 6:31 (ESV) 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

When was the last time that you allowed yourself to have rest, both spiritual and physical?

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